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Clin Nephrol. 2012 Mar;77(3):171-81.

Role of oxidative stress in cardiovascular effects of anemia treatment with erythropoietin in predialysis patients with chronic kidney disease.

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  • 1Nephrology Service, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, IISPV, Tortosa, Spain.



Oxidative stress (OS) is involved in left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Short-term treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) complicated by anemia and LVH is associated with a reduction in left ventricular mass (LVM). We proposed to assess whether the pro-oxidant status of CKD influences these outcomes.


Predialysis patients (n = 76) with CKD and hemoglobin (Hb) levels < 11 g/dl received EPO for 6 months. The effects of this anemia correction on LVH regression were evaluated using echocardiography. Patients with LVM decrease > 10% were considered "responders" (n = 25) to treatment and those with LVM change < 10% were considered "non-responders" (n = 24). Measurement of OS included plasma and erythrocyte oxidized (GSSG) and reduced (GSH) glutathione, GSH redox ratio (GSSG/GSH), erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and oxidized LDL (Ox- LDL).


49 patients completed the study. With EPO therapy, mean Hb levels increased from 9.9 ± 0.6 to 12.8 ± 1.5 g/ dl (p < 0.0001) and LVM index decreased from 69.2 ± 17.7 to 64.1 ± 19.6 g/m2.7 (p = 0.01). At 6 months, "non-responders" had higher systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, GSSG and GSH redox ratio and lower GSH than "responders". In multivariate analysis, and following adjustment for confounding variables, systolic blood pressure and GSH redox ratio independently predicted LVH regression.


Blood pressure and plasma GSH redox ratio (a marker of OS) are important predictors of LVH regression in anemic predialysis patients treated with EPO.

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